Post # 1
I really would appreciate some advice. I’m not "officially engaged", and I am already worried about planning! 😉
Here’s some background. My Boyfriend or Best Friend and I are 30 & 28, have been dating almost 2 years, and we know we want to get married. He has told me he is saving up for the ring but does not have the $ yet. Part of my anxiety was that we picked a date in February about a month ago, so now I feel the clock ticking. I’m starting to regret picking the date, but our hearts were set on the date, and we wanted to reserve our church…
Anyhow, am I crazy to start planning now? My job is a project mgr, and I’ve been in lots of weddings, so I love to plan! The only deposit I have put down is a small one for the church, but I feel like I should be starting most of my other plans, too. How far is too far if no $ is exchanged? Some more background is that I work OT almost every week and started a masters this year, so I feel the pressure more than most would on time to plan and have more time during the summer…Should I just wait until I’m engaged? I trust that my Boyfriend or Best Friend WILL propose, and he has even told me I can start planning, but he doesn’t want me to tell my parents we’ve picked a date. I expect them to at least kick in some $, how much I don’t know….OK, I’m going to stop there, since I think you get the point. Please let me know what you think I can plan before the ring. I really will enjoy the planning but don’t want to be a weirdo (one lady already asked to see my ring and I was super embarassed). 😉
Post # 3
Ok, #1, I’m very excited for you!
#2, here are some things to think about:
– If you don’t get officially engaged til a few months from now and wait until then to tell people the date, some people important to you might not be able to be there.
– Lots of vendors will book up within the 7-9 month mark, which is where you are right now. You’re not going to get your first choice of a few things.
– If you want to order a wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses, they can take several months to come in and another few weeks for fittings.
– If flowers are important to you, they’re going to be more expensive around Valentine’s Day.
Alternatively, you might be more in luck since February is wedding "off season," so things might not book up as quickly or be as pricey.
Post # 4
My Fiance and I looked at venues before we were engaged. I used the time excuse. We knew we wanted to be married and didn’t want a really long engagement. We knew we wanted to get married in the fall of 08 and I told him if that was the case that we needed to start planning.
He also didn’t want me to tell my folks, but I’m not the type to keep secrets from them (not to mention that I was SUPER excited). I told my parents it was imminent and they told me what they would be willing to contribute- which helped in picking a venue.
I think it possible to respect your FIs wishes and still talk to you folks. Mention to them that the engagement is coming soon and that you can’t wait. Talk in hypotheticals about the venue you want and let them tell you what they would be willing to contribute.
One you know that, you can really get planning- even if it’s in secret. Because AmySue is right- things will get booked up.
Post # 5
I agree with PPs above, but I also wanted to say congrats! And don’t even worry about not having a ring. People are so strange about that stuff. It’s only official after he spent alot of money on you?? Girl, puh-leaze. I know how you feel though, I got the dress, the venue, and the planner all before I had the ring. It gets sucky sometimes.
And actually, I kind of agree with him about not telling your folks. For me, it was an everyday question from my mom: "has he asked yet? has he asked yet?" It got really stressful and really annoying!
Post # 6
I think the question depends on where in the country you are. In most places, you’d be fine to wait until around the six-month mark to start really planning; in major metro areas (at least NYC), you’ll pretty much need a year.
Post # 7
You’re not crazy for planning now…..if you get engaged. The ring isn’t what makes you engaged….it’s just a symbol of it. I didn’t have my engagement ring for almost the whole period of our engagement, which was kind of annoying because the minute you tell people(women) you are getting married, they immediately look at your hand. But I got over it. Traditionally, you get the proposal and then you get the ring…but if you guys are serious about getting married, you shouldn’t let a piece of jewelry be the holdup.
Post # 8
Hi Cannot wait! Congrats! Sit down with your special man and determine how you both would see your wedding. And I think it’s great that you want to start researching.
If you have a responsible sister or friend get them to help you out with the prepartory stages: get the # of ppl you are interested in inviting. Line up possible venues. Give them the number of people you think who might attend… Some venues/locations require you use one of several vendors they have on a list. So then depending on the location of the reception- you would have to choose which vendors (caterer or musician) you would want to go with from their list and set the date with them, then put down a deposit. So in essence you would have to also talk aout what kind of food you want (buffet or family style versus sit down).
It’s a good thing to know how much all these people cost, so then you and your future FI can budget or figure out what you can reasonably set aside given the time frame you have.
And no- you do not have to wait till you are engaged… When you are engaged you have a ton of people to call to tell the "wonderful story of how he asked", people will ask questions like you know all the plans right then. =o) I was exhausted after I became engaged! And I became overwhelmed too with all the questions people asked me- and I thought "am I supposed to know this right now?" or even "Oh snap! I didn’t even think of that!" It may seem less overwhelming if you start researching right now I think.
I myself am juggling school, work, and now wedding planning. My mom is helpful- in the sense that although my parents aren’t putting in lots of money, as a strength she is good with organization, putting out fires, following up on minor details, updating people in the fam so i don’t have to do that (especially since she loves to chit-chat)- not necessarily keeping me sane but that is another story. So maybe you should consider telling ONE person who can be like your point person in your close circle to help out. If you do not have summer courses, it’s a good time to do even more planning and visiting of venues. Because when school starts up again you will feel like certain things are on the back burner- at least you would have gotten a jump start.
Go ahead- start researching & getting numbers!!! Good luck. Keep us posted. You just might become my hero pulling off a wedding and school. So let us know how it goes!
Post # 9
I agree with mlindsey — if it’s important to you to be engaged during the planning process, ask (don’t nag) your Boyfriend or Best Friend if he would be comfortable proposing to you with the promise of a ring yet to come. Or even with one of those dinky little promise rings that are like, $100. He might not be; some guys are kind of proud about that. If he’s not, don’t press the issue.
But I really do know where you’re coming from — I knew I was going to marry Fiance when we had been dating for about a month. We got together in Oct 05 and by Thanksgiving we had picked our colors. 🙂 However, through a funny series of events (he would lose a full-ride scholarship if he got married) he didn’t propose until Feb 08, and we’ll be getting married in December. So yeah, I did a lot of planning (mostly research) before the ring came.
Things that you can plan now without a lot of outside involvement now:
Registry — Bed Bath and Beyond has a wishlist function that is the same as registry, except password protected, so you and your Boyfriend or Best Friend can fill it up with stuff that will remain in season, and when the engagement is announced, take it public!
Research!!! Get really into flowers, food, cake, dress, honeymoon, etc, and figure out what you and he really want. And when you think you’ve got the right vendor, try to figure out if there’s a deadline to how close to the date you can safely book.
In your position, I would also really reconsider your decision to not tell your parents yet. Consider that depending on the kind of people they are, they might be hurt to find out you’ve been planning for X months before they were even told that there was a date set.
I hope none of this sounds preachy, and I really do feel your non-engagement pain. It was so frustrating to see less stable couples who had spent way less time together than my Fiance and me get engaged and be getting all of this attention because they are now "more serious" than we were. Hang in there!
Post # 10
Oh- and one more last thought. You may not be officially engaged. But you are officially committed. Half the things you will be researching you can start by doing on the phone and no one will know you aren’t officially engaged. But just know it’s a conversation piece for venues and rceptionists to ask to see the ring or to ask how he asked. It’s not to make you feel awkward. At least, that is what I would like to think. Good luck!!! Have fun!!!
Post # 11
i am in the same boat as you are! the bf is saving up for the ring and we set the date to jan 2009. our parents both know about the date and they’re meeting to plan as well.i agree with the other gals in telling your parents. they need to know whats going on too so they can plan as well.
we’re going to look at some venues this weekend. i know it’s frustrating doing all this stuff with the symbolic ring but in the end, it’s just a peice of rock and metal (albeit a nice one).
what city are you in?
Post # 12
i was actually just thinking about posting a very similar topic. my boyfriend is also saving up to buy a ring, but i am feeling pressure to start planning early. while we have not officially set a date yet, we are planning on getting married summer of ’09, so just a few months after yours.
basically, i am waiting to do anything official until we ourselves are official (although i have stressed to my boyfriend how vendors will get booked and how we need to start planning soon… im just hoping that speeds up the ring process a bit). however, i am doing everything that i can do, planning wise. weddingbee is a great outlet because i can save photos, jot down ideas, and dream away to my hearts content. i am even pretty sure i’ve found my dress, i’m just waiting to buy it.
so, i suggest you go ahead and compile brainstorming and unofficial plans (colors, ideas, etc) as much as you want. if this process leads you to any official vendors that you just can’t live without, book ’em. but otherwise, enjoy this time to just dream. gather any and all ideas that you can later put into action for your perfect day. 🙂
Post # 13
Not that you need MY permission….but I wrote about this very thing as my second post way back last year when I became a bee: http://www.weddingbee.com/2007/06/01/a-tip-for-the-not-yet-engaged/
I completely think it is wise to get started on your planning; especially if you have seriously discussed the future and know the engagment is coming. It only makes sense.
Post # 14
You should check out That Bride…she’s not engaged either.
Post # 15
i’m in the same boat! there seems to be a lot of us, which makes me feel A LOT better. the bf and i know we’re going to marry one day [we’ve been talking about it since our 2nd month together and he gave me a promise ring on our 1st anniversary] though the planning for our wedding didn’t kick in into i was helping my friend plan her wedding. the bf is well aware of my pre-planning and is fine with it because he knows how much i love to plan stuff and how detailed i like getting plus he says it makes me happy. we do talk about it from time to time, i toss ideas his way and sees what he thinks so forth. our parents know that we plan on getting married and my parents occasionally broach the topic every once and awhile too, which has been nice so they can start thinking of how much they want to contribute.
that said, you should at least tell your parents [both of you] that an engagement is immenient so they can at least start to get their minds going about what they want to contribute or help with. also, use this time to try out diy ideas if that’s your thing and look around for venues and photographers and start to put together a rough outline of what you both want for the day that you can fill in later when you’re official. if you don’t want to deal with extra questions, you can always email potential venues/vendors and what not which cuts out the extra chit chat. start to piece together the look you want from shoes to bouquets and favors and stuff [the only thing i haven’t really looked at hard core has been dresses but i have cheated a little. lol]. i did all my research online and i feel a lot better about being prepared for what to expect when it comes time to plan for real.
wow, i rambled all around and i don’t think i made much sense. hmm, here: you’re not crazy at all and definitely start poking your nose around. congrats!
Post # 16
Wow, I feel so much better now. Thanks to all the amazing ladies for your input!
I’m in TX, not in a huge city, so luckily that buys me some time. I did find a reception venue that I’m in love with, that she said will book soon. I’m not sure I can afford it, anyway. (You should see it, though, it’s GORGEOUS, and they even do the centerpieces, etc. for you, so that should save me some planning time.) I may regret it if it gets booked, but I care more about the church, invites and hopefully seeing some of my relatives I have not seen in awhile that live about 20 hrs away.
I will probably do a prelim meeting with a caterer and a florist in June, but this has helped give me the ‘push’ I needed. I now feel inspired to go buy a meeellion bridal magazines, even if I do hide them, and if the clerk looks at my ring finger , I now feel more confident that it won’t bother me so much.